Beware of the Dangers of Turmeric and Curcumin


Every since I heard curcumin may help one avoid Alzheimers having experienced the heart wrenching effects of this personally with my father, I take a daily curcumin supplement. I have read many great claims to it’s amazing and varied health benefits. However, I just discovered information on the other side of the coin and wanted to help others be at least aware of these possible issues.

Turmeric is the spice made from the root of the turmeric plant. It contains several active compounds, one of which is curcumin.  It is the curcumin that has been shown to have the most health benefits. It is important to note that generally less than 5% of the turmeric we use in cooking is curcumin. While adding turmeric to your food is generally good for you, the amount may be too small to have any medicinal qualities. This is why many people have turned to curcumin supplements for the desired health benefits.

The supplement enthusiasts (myself included here) may be a little overzealous and a little short on caution in spreading the good news about the latest great supplement.   The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database and KSU Research lists medicinal curcumin as being:

Likely Safe …when used in amounts commonly found in foods. Turmeric has Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status in the US.

Possibly Safe …when used orally or topically in medicinal amounts.

Pregnancy: Likely Unsafe …when used orally in medicinal amounts; turmeric might stimulate menstrual flow and the uterus.

And the research goes on to say that “Concomitant use of turmeric with herbs that might affect platelet aggregation could theoretically increase the risk of bleeding in some people”. Anyone using the following herbs should use caution when adding curcumin supplements: angelica, clove, danshen, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, Panax ginseng, red clover, and willow.

Also those taking aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, ticlopidine (Ticlid), and warfarin (Coumadin) should exercise caution since turmeric with these drugs might increase the risk of bleeding due to decreased platelet aggregation. Turmeric has been reported to have antiplatelet effects.

The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center warns that turmeric may interfere with chemotherapy treatments and states that people with gastrointestinal disorders, gallstones or bile-duct issues should not take turmeric. Turmeric should not be taken by pregnant women since it can induce menstruation and abortion (

The NIH goes on to add possible interactions with blood pressure or diabetes medications, anti-inflammatory drugs and cholesterol regulators. Consult your doctor before starting any supplement regimen.

Here are some other names for curcumin that you may not recognize: Curcumae Longa, Curcumae Longae Rhizoma, Curcumin, Curcuminoid, Curcuminoids, Halada, Haldi, Haridra, Indian Saffron, Nisha, Pian Jiang Huang, Radix Curcumae, Rajani, Rhizoma Cucurmae Longae.

Now the question we must ask ourselves are these sources simply trying to steer us away from a natural and effective solution that won’t make the big drug companies any money, or are these legitimate concerns?  I believe we need to at least be aware of these possible contraindications especially in the case of pregnant women knowing not to take it. So please pass this on! Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one, so comments below are encouraged.

Healthy Blessings,

Sandy Scherschligt

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Sandy J Duncan
Sandy Duncan is completing her Doctorate in Integrative Medicine, a health and wellness coach, Certified Neurofeedback specialist and author of Read honest reviews on current health and wellness products as well as register for FREE giveaways.

  • Thomas

    Just take plenty of turmeric and you will never need chemotherapy in the first place!!! So, in my opinion, the answer to your question in the last paragraph is a big YES! I also agree with your statement that women should avoid it during pregnancy for the reason mentioned (that would be the only risk of taking turmeric). And who needs rat poison, i mean blood thinners like coumadin anyway. Good old fear mongering by big pharma and their gang. Thanks for the article though. Always good to be aware and discuss!

  • gee

    how much should one take in capsule form daily? And. how many milligrams?

  • P.K.Viswanathan

    I would like to know the safer amount on a daily basis

  • Cara

    Thank you for the article. I just started trying a tablespoon of tumeric powder with water for benifits of clairty, antioxidant, and overall wellness. One unexpected benifit I’ve noticed is my breathing is much better. The whites in my eyes look whiter. One other thing I’m not to keen on is my bowl movements want to flow. This is only day 2. I’m not diagnosed with breathing issues but prior smoker and seems sometimes breathing is short. Well, I have noticed a big difference. However, could there be negatives, I hope they study it more. My friend has copd and smokes and takes meds, I bet tumeric would benifit her but with her med use I’m skeptical. Anyway, hope to hear more and see more from this spice. If anyone knows of better ones please advice.

  • disqus_i2VOlfZl5Q

    You started out with “Every since”….not professional…therefore I don’t want to read the rest of your little article.

    • peasporridgehot

      I had the exact same response.

  • I’ve been taking a suppliment with cucuminoid regularly for almost two months and have noticed an uptick of blood streaks in my normal vaginal discharge as well as lowered blood pressure – not dangerous, but not normal for me. This article helped me identify the possible cause. Thanks you.